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Sci-Tech

Crazy Mariana Trench jellyfish is a living lava lamp

A jellyfish found in the Mariana Trench by the NOAA's remote-controlled underwater vehicle looks like something out of science fiction.

The deepest region of our planet is, obviously, really hard to get to. The Mariana Trench reaches a maximum depth of nearly 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) that we know of. So there's potentially a lot down there that we haven't discovered or seen yet.

This little guy, identified by NOAA scientists as a jellyfish belonging to the Crossota genus, was filmed by high-definition cameras on the remote-operated underwater vehicle Deep Discoverer, equipped to the ship Okeanos Explorer, at a depth of around 3,700 metres (2.3 miles). It's a type of hydromedusae, which typically range from 0.5 to 6 centimetres (0.2 to 2.36 inches) in diameter, but unlike others of its kind, it doesn't have an immobile polyp stage, instead spending its entire life drifting the ocean.

According to Scientific American, the pretty glowy yellow bits? They're probably its gonads. And, as the NOAA notes, the posture of its tentacles at the beginning of the video, evenly extended outwards, suggests that the jellyfish ambushes its prey, motionlessly drifting until something bumps into its grasp.

You can read more about the NOAA's 2016 Mariana Trench expeditions here.